Sunday, November 7, 2010

just a tiny bit of an amazing week!

This week has been our most amazing so far! It is hard to even know what to say about it. Ken Kierstead from Seattle, UPC and the Fluid Foundation…and a friend of many of you, was here in Kenya. He graciously welcomed us into his adventures and plans and what resulted for us were the most incredible experiences…meeting people, seeing projects, making friends…

Last Wed we drove across the Rift Valley in order to join up with Ken, some Kenyan World Concern staff and drivers to take us in 4 wheel drive vehicles across miles and miles of horrid roads, passing giraffe, zebras, ostrich, wildebeests etc etc. until we reached an extremely remote Maasai village where 2-3000 people live! The area would be totally uninhabitable, as was the land all the way from Narok town where we met up with the group, to the village, if it weren’t for a spring which provides an endless source of clean water and makes it possible to have trees, grass, grow crops and live….not lavishly, but survival is possible. There were a few trucks, and a few matatus…otherwise it is all about walking….endless walking! ( I would love to put a pedometer on a Maasai for a day! All our “records” would be smashed immediately for sure!) We had the privilege of seeing a credit union/saving type of project whose start up the Fluid Foundation and World Concern have partnered to support. The concept of saving is so new and unusual, but here they are making headway and catching on. Perhaps the next time there is a drought, as there was for several years only ending about 9 months ago, they will be able to use the money they have put aside to help them keep from starving! It was very exciting to see this catching on. The credit union has almost 300 members as it ends the first year.

I had the pleasure of getting close contact with a young Maasai woman, a member of the board for the project. She stayed close to me and I longed to talk with her. Many of the Maasai are so beautiful. I find myself wanting to stare...which my kids say I do anyway! So this is probably really bad. Finally we were in the car together as we headed back to the village after a goat feast…this is a huge deal in Kenya…getting treated to goat…(Whether you think of it as a treat or not it would be horrible to not partake with gratitude and enthusiasm. Thankfully, Warren and I basically like it.) Anyway, we were in the car with a Maasai who speaks English so we could ask each other a few questions. She asked me, “is he your husband?” and I asked her if she was married and if she had children. She was and had two, ages 2 and 6. Then she asked me if I had children. (John was not with us) I told her about them and their ages…She clapped her hand over her mouth…shocked and realizing that I am OLD!;) It is hard to tell ages of people you don’t see often…as in other races and cultures!! We have the same problem. I was guessing at that point that she was about Alison’s age….and when I asked, exactly right. I later learned that she is someone’s second wife…

The separation of language…painfully limiting. I could have spent days and nights talking with her…hearing her story, learning about her life and culture, asking her about her hopes and dreams. Instead I went home with a wee connection that indicated that we wished for more…and a beautiful beaded necklace that she made which symbolizes that I am a queen or something amazing…and a hope for heaven…and the chance to communicate!!

Later this week I met Frances, a whole blog in himself…but he speaks 23 languages! And I believe him…He was clearly one of the brightest and most alive people I have ever met, and also Rose…who speaks 10…including fluent German, an uncommon sort of addition for a Kenyan.

Some people just get right to it.

1 comment:

  1. wow, awesome! I'm so glad you have this blog as your journal, not only to share with your friends but to look back and see what you did everyday! Every week gets better & better! WHat an honor to be there-- a life-changing, amazing adventure.